In designing a SIB, it can be easy for managers to overlook the chaotic environment in which delivery staff may inevitably work. They are dealing with real people who may lose or withhold information, may be difficult to get hold of and may not behave consistently.
We have gathered tips for gathering outcomes from those with prior experience.
In designing the outcomes gathering process:
- Make letters, forms and other requirements as light as possible to ease the burden. Ensure each word or signature needs to be there, as people may need to complete a high volume of this paperwork
- Involve frontline staff in the design of these processes (including beneficiaries, validators, delivery staff and administrators). If you create cumbersome or difficult requirements, it is their professional and personal relationships you will be putting at risk, so it is crucial to ask their advice and obtain their agreement
And in implementing the outcomes gathering process:
- Establish a regular (monthly or quarterly) cycle for the gathering of data and documents and make it available to delivery staff in an easily-consumable format. Calendar reminders and system alerts may work or may need to be supplemented with other forms of communication until new processes become habit
- Offer regular feedback and insights into progress and results for those doing the groundwork, in return for their efforts. This can include healthy doses of praise and thanks wherever appropriate, but also interesting morsels of analysis and benchmarking to contribute to professional growth. In contributing to a SIB, staff are doing expert and innovative work and may emerge with sought-after personal expertise.
Ignoring discontent about the process of gathering outcomes can allow a damaging spiral to develop. A burdensome regular administrative effort can easily become divorced from the reality of a practitioner’s professional successes and failures – and ‘outcomes’ become unpopular as a form of paperwork rather than a measure of real life successes.